What are three lessons from "The Miller's Tale" in The Canterbury Tales?

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The most prominent lesson of "The Miller's Tale" instructs men to marry women their own age. This become clear from the beginning, when the Miller describes the Carpenter’s wife, who is only eighteen years old. The Miller focuses first on Alison’s age, appearance, and her “likerous eye.” He then emphasizes that "Men shoulde wedden after their estate, / For youth and eld is often at debate.” This lesson rings true, as Alison is sought after by Nicholas and Absalon and ultimately accepts Nicholas’s affection.

There is also advice for men like Absolon in the tale. Absolon’s persistence in wooing Alison is not rewarded with her love but rather with ridicule. After repeated attempts at impressing her, he fails to realize that she is in love with another.

But what availeth him as in this case?

So loveth she this Handy Nicholas

That Absalom may blow the buckè's horn.

He ne had for his labor but a scorn.

And thus she maketh Absalom her ape,

And all his earnest turneth to a jape.

Full sooth is this provérb, it is no lie;

Men say right thus: "Always the nighè sly

Maketh the farrè leevè to be loth."

Because Absalon continues to persist, he is finally rejected and subsequently mortified when Alison tricks him into kissing her bare behind after spending the night with Nicholas.

In addition to the lesson the Carpenter learns about marriage, the end of the tale also conveys the lesson that love is blind. The Miller makes it clear that the “silly” Carpenter’s willingness to believe Nicholas’s warning about a biblical flood is due to his complete infatuation with his wife: “Lo! what a great thing is affectïon! / Men may die of imaginatïon, / So deepè may impressïon be take.” In the end, the Carpenter’s infatuation leads to a broken arm and the loss of his reputation in the town. Alison and Nicholas are able to easily make the Carpenter into a laughing stock.

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